WILFRID BARRETTíS 1988 AUSTIN ROVER MINI

OR SHOULD THAT BE A BONSAI?

GARAGE GURUS

READERSí RIDES

SEND YOUR UNIQUE CAR TO UNIQUECARS@BAUERTRADER.COM.AU

Thereís a guy in Oxley who does Mini restorations and servicing. Heís got a field of them out the back of his workshop, so thatís where I got this one. Itís a Japanese Domestic Market model, and Iíve had it for a few months now. The dash was out and it was pretty rough when I first saw it. So I bought the car, then he got to work on it with fixing it up and installing new things like the twin carbs. I wanted it because itís something different, and there arenít too many out there. I saw one the other day but thatís one of the only others Iíve seen.

As far as a refurbishment goes, itís pretty original, aside from the carbs and a radio. It would have had speakers up the back originally, but now theyíre more modern and not what it would have been. Itís a 1275cc but it feels pretty good, itís about 700 kg I think, so it handles like a go-kart.

Iíd say this oneís been in Australia for a few years, because there was someone before me who wanted it and had the engine reconditioned before deciding he didnít want it anymore. It was a Japanese import, but Iím actually not sure whatís different about it.

Iím looking at the flares and the hubcaps but I really donít know if thatís a JDM thing.

This is my first car... before this I drove my Mumís Hyundai Getz while I waited to get this for a few months. This is much better than a Getz. Itís actually slower on the highway, but it gets off the mark a bit quicker.

We also have a Nissan Patrol, which feels like driving a tank.

There are always people taking pictures of my car as they go past on the highway.

The other day an old couple in a C63 AMG were taking photos as they drove past, but I would have been taking pictures of theirs if I wasnít driving.

Realistically, I donít know if Iíll have this forever, but if I got rid of it Iíd probably go out and get an older one, like a Mk1. Iíve seen one for sale but itís about $30k so thatís a while away for me.

I was happy with the price for this one. When the mechanic gave me a number I decided to go ahead, because the quality of the car was better than the other he had.

I went and had a look at a Mk1 before this one, it was advertised at $8k, but someone had changed the doors to Mk 3 doors and had swapped the engine. He chopped and changed everything. It was terrible!

I love everything about my Mini, thereís nothing Iíd change at all. The red on the roof matches the interior carpet, itís things like that. Thereís actually a lot of space inside the car, considering how big it is. I just love it.

Call 13 46 46 for a quote or visit shannons.com.au Minis can still be had for loose change, but tidy ones start at $4k